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Five Million Years to Earth (1967)
"Quatermass and the Pit" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Sci-Fi, Horror  |  16 February 1968 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 6,600 users  
Reviews: 128 user | 67 critic

A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.

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(original story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Andrew Keir ...
Barbara Shelley ...
...
Duncan Lamont ...
Bryan Marshall ...
...
Howell
Edwin Richfield ...
Minister
Grant Taylor ...
Police Sergeant Ellis
Maurice Good ...
Sergeant Cleghorn
Robert Morris ...
Jerry Watson
Sheila Steafel ...
Journalist
Hugh Futcher ...
Sapper West
Hugh Morton ...
Elderly Journalist
Thomas Heathcote ...
Vicar
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Storyline

While digging a new subway line in London, a construction crew discovers first: a skeleton, then what they think is an old World War II German missile. Upon closer examination the "missile" appears to be not of this earth! This movie examines the age old question of how we came to be on this planet. It is surprisingly scary. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All Earth Stands Helpless! Spawned in the depths of outer space -- a monster so horrible, so vicious, so incredible -- even when you see it you won't believe it could be! (U.S. poster) See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Five Million Years to Earth  »

Box Office

Budget:

£275,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roney's mental image, seen on a small screen when the apparatus is being calibrated, is a shot from early in Four Sided Triangle (1953), an earlier Hammer science fiction film. See more »

Goofs

The top half of a complete skeleton is revealed when the workman pulls a lump of clay away with his shovel. But during the press conference, the archaeologist says they've only found some skull fragments and lower limbs. Liar. See more »

Quotes

Col. Breen: Mars is dead, nothing there but a few scraps of lichen.
Professor Bernard Quatermass: Five million years ago it may have been very different. Suppose at that time there were living beings on it with techniques that let them visit the Earth at a time when the most highly evolved creatures here, our own ancestors, were only a type of Pliocene ape.
Minister of Defense: Go on.
Professor Bernard Quatermass: They may have wanted to found another colony, when their own world was doomed, but couldn't endure our atmosphere, so they experimented.
Minister of Defense: Oh, and the insects were responsible?
Professor Bernard Quatermass:
Col. Breen:
Professor Bernard Quatermass:
Howell:
Professor Bernard Quatermass:
[...]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Quatermass (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Ultima Ora
(uncredited)
Music by Armando Sciascia
Sparta-Florida Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Sci-Fi horror that will mesmerise and get you thinking!
29 November 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Quatermass and the Pit is one of the finest of Hammer's vast and largely very fine oeuvre. Strangely, however, when you hear people speak of Hammer horror, this film rarely gets a mention, and that's a great injustice as it easily ranks up there with the best of them. The plot follows a group of construction workers that discover a plot of skeletons while extending London's subway station. This immediately attracts the attention of local scientists Mathew Roney and Barbara Judd, and later the man of the title; Dr Quatermass, who end up facing opposition from both the army and the press while trying to investigate the find. Where did the skeletons come from? How did they get there? And what's the meaning behind that bomb in the tunnel? All these questions and more are answered in Quatermass and the Pit.

As you might expect, the film is very camp. The effects are truly ridiculous and very easy to laugh at; but they add to the fun and charm of the movie. The reason why Hammer Horror films succeed is that, despite being unpleasant at times, it's obvious that they were made with a lot of heart, and the good nature that went into making them always shines through. Unlike many horror (or Sci-Fi) films, however, this one actually bothers to pose some interesting questions and really gets you thinking. The normal idea behind alien based Sci-Fi is completely turned on it's head, and it makes for both an enjoyable and interesting, not to mention original movie. It's quite ingenious, in fact; much more so than many recent 'thought-provoking' movies. There is also quite a lot of the trademark British humour in the film, which is always nice to see. It's obvious that the film is meant to be tongue in cheek anyway, but it's always nice to have a few moments of laughter in there. Quatermass and the Pit is directed by Hammer Horror supremo Roy Ward Baker. When people think of Hammer directors, it's often Terrence Fisher that comes out on top; but Baker is by far my favourite. He's delivered the lovely Asylum, the ingenious Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, not to mention The Vampire Lovers; and now this. And that's only the ones that I've seen!

Overall, this is an incredible movie. It's generous mix of horror, Sci-Fi and fantasy is truly refreshing and it makes for an interesting and enjoyable ride. I loved every minute of this film, and it easily ranks as one of the best Hammer Horror's that I've seen. Make sure you don't skip this one.


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